Jalen Rose was part of the famous 'Fab 5' Michigan Wolverines team in NCAAB; he had a very decent NBA career but Rose is mostly known for being the guy Kobe Bryant scored 81 points on. Back in 2006, Kobe, with his grandmother on the stands, went off on Rose and dropped 81 points against him and the Toronto Raptors. That was a record for Kobe and an unforgettable moment for Rose.
Well, 14 years later he has nothing but good words to say about Kobe and has even admitted he's honored to be that player that was cooked by Bryant, one of the greatest scorers and fiercest competitors in NBA history. Rose, just like plenty of people around the league, believes that Kobe was the heir of Michael Jordan and that 'killer mentality' that took MJ to become the greatest player of all time.
Talking to Esquire, Rose explained the similarities between Bryant and Jordan, praising the Los Angeles Lakers legend for his game and everything he did during his time in the league (2:59 mark).
"The Los Angeles Lakers did a terrific job in winning the championship in his honor. It was an honor for me to be on the floor and watch Kobe Bryant torch us for 81 points. It’s something that I’m proud of. When you get a chance to witness greatness, up close and personal, and understand the kind of work that he put in. If there was ever a player that moved like Michael Jordan, Kobe was that next player. That’ll never be diminished. So if you want to aspire to be anybody, you’re looking for a role model to mimic, Kobe Bean Bryant is your person.”
Kobe sadly passed away last January 26 in a fatal helicopter crash. Everybody has paid his respect to the Black Mamba and now Rose, the player that suffered the most from Kobe, had some kind words towards the 5x NBA champion. He modeled his game after Michael Jordan and seeing how many people believe he was the closest thing to MJ surely would've made Kobe very happy.